Florian Solzbacher

Florian Solzbacher portrait
  • Professor, Elect & Computer Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor, Bioengineering
  • Director, Center for Engineering Innovation, College Of Engineering
  • Co-Director Utah Nanotechnology Institute
  • Chair USTAR Cluster/Committee Nanosystem integration and Packaging, College Of Engineering
  • Member Internal Commercialization Advisory Board , Vp For Research
  • Member, RIF committee, Vp For Research
  • Member, EFS (Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars), Technology Venture Capitalization
  • Director, Microsystems Laboratory, Elect & Computer Engineering
  • Member, ECE Strategic Planning Committee, Elect & Computer Engineering
  • Member a2ru / createCONNECTIONS committee, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Member, Digital Fabrication TaskForce , Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Associate Chair Academics and Special Initiatives , Elect & Computer Engineering
  • Chair, Faculty Search Committee, Elect & Computer Engineering


Research Summary

Harsh Environment MEMS, including: materials (SiC (on Si), SOI, GaN), metallisation systems for high temperatures and aggressive ambient conditions, and silicon fusion bonding and packaging issues.

Research Statement

Gas Sensors

The focus of this research is on the development of a gas sensor toolkit for sensitive, selective and stable detection of undesirable gas species (e.g. NOx, SOx, CO, CO2) at high-temperatures. In2O3, NiO, Ga2O3 and Y-doped BaZrO3 for the detection of NOx, H2, CO and humidity, respectively have been investigated. Of primary importance were the effects of materials processing conditions on the gas sensitivity and response rate. Design, fabrication and integration of microhotplate structures with gas sensitive layers capable of functioning at temperatures greater than 500 °C were also performed.

Hydrogel Sensors for Metabolic Markers

The main objective of the research is to develop a sensor array that can monitor different biomarkers such as glucose, pH and pCO2 to help avoid long term diseases caused by irregularities in their levels. A sensing platform based on piezoresistive pressure transducers has been developed which is integrated with stimuli responsive polymers or smart hydrogels that act as the sensing element. Several in vitro experiments have been performed so far to establish stability and reproducibility of the sensor arrays to changes in glucose, ionic strength and pH concentrations in the environmental analyte. Response times to changes in concentrations have been found to be in the range if 5 to 10 minutes.

Integrated Neural Interfaces

The integrated neural interface program centered at the University of Utah is focused on developing chronically implantable, wireless, integrated neural interface devices based on the Utah electrode array. These devices may be used in the central or pheripherial nervous system for neural signal recording and/or stimulation to help people with motor or sensory impairments.

Research Keywords

  • Materials Engineering, Interest Level: 3
  • Electrical Engineering or Electronics, Interest Level: 1
  • Bioengineering, Interest Level: 1

Research Groups

  • Sandeep Negi, Research Professor. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 08/2012 - present.
  • Ryan Caldwell, Graduate Student. Bioengineering. 06/2012 - present. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: NSF IGERT.
  • Brian Baker, Graduate Student. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 08/2011 - present.
  • Andreas Schutze, Visiting Faculty. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 09/01/2009 - 09/01/2010. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Clyde Chair Fellowship .
  • Margarita Guenther, Visiting Faculty. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 02/15/2011 - 08/14/2011.
  • Loren Rieth, Research Professor. Microsystems Lab. 11/16/2004 - present.
  • Prashant Tathireddy, Research Professor. Microsystems Lab. 09/01/2005 - present.
  • Layne Williams, Postdoc. Microsystems Lab. 04/26/2010 - 05/01/2011.
  • Srinivas Merugu, Postdoc. Microsystems Lab. 10/13/2010 - 05/01/2012.
  • Mohit Diwekar, Postdoc. Microsystems Lab. 12/01/2010 - present.
  • Asha Sharma, Postdoc. Microsystems Lab. 12/17/2008 - 03/31/2011.
  • Rohit Sharma, Senior Associate. Microsystems Lab. 01/11/2010 - present.
  • Hannwelm Steinebach, Graduate Student. Microsystems Lab. 03/15/2007 - 10/01/2011.
  • Xianzong Xie, Graduate Student. Microsystems Lab. 08/16/2008 - 12/2013.
  • Mahendernath Avula, Graduate Student. Microsystems Lab. 09/20/2009 - 12/2013.
  • Tanya Abaya, Graduate Student. Microsystems Lab. 08/16/2010 - 12/2013.
  • Nora Busche, Visiting Student. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 12/06/2010 - 06/05/2011.
  • Je-min Yoo, Graduate Student. Electrical and Computer Engineering. 10/30/2009 - 09/2013.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Nanotechnology to Enhance Efficacy and Longevity in Chronic Applications. PI: Bhandari, Rajmohan. Co-PI(s): Solzbacher, Negi, Tresco, Greger. NIH/NINDS, 08/01/2013 - 07/31/2015. Total project budget to date: $700,000.00
  • Highly Customizable Blackrock Micro Molded Arrays (BRMMA) . PI: Solzbacher, Florian. Co-PI(s): Bhandari, Raj. NIH/NINDS, 02/01/2013 - 01/31/2015. Total project budget to date: $700,000.00
  • REVOLUTIONIZING PROSTHETICS 3. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, 08/12/2010 - 06/29/2013. Total project budget to date: $6,567,425.00
  • REVOLUTIONIZING PROSTHETICS 2A. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, 03/04/2008 - 09/30/2010. Total project budget to date: $278,086.00
  • HYDROGEL-BASED METABOLIC SENSO. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. UTAH SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND RE, 11/01/2009 - 06/30/2011. Total project budget to date: $50,000.00
  • ARRA-WIRELESS NEURAL INTERFACE. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, 08/01/2009 - 07/31/2013. Total project budget to date: $2,369,785.00
  • IMPLANTABLE MICROSENSOR ARRAY. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, 09/12/2007 - 02/28/2011. Total project budget to date: $460,956.00
  • FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT. PI: SOLZBACHER,FLORIAN. FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT FHG, 03/01/2006 - 12/31/2013. Total project budget to date: $854,852.00

Research/Scholarship Projects

  • Development of In-Situ Continuous Intraocular Pressure Monitor for Glaucoma Research and Treatment. PI: Feng Liu. Co-PI(s): Florian Solzbacher. 04/01/2010 - 03/31/2015.

Microsystems Lab

Research Faculty:

  • Loren Rieth
  • Prashant Tathireddy
  • Sandeep Negi

Research Staff:

  • Rohit Sharma

Graduate Students:

  • Ryan Caldwell

Administrative Staff:

  • Kate Pedersen